PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.02 Review
PCLinuxOS (PCLOS) for short is one of the few popular distributions out there that uses a fork of Mandriva as its base while others are based on some sort of variant of Debian. PCLOS uses KDE 4.6.5 as its desktop environment and is available for both 32bit and 64 bit systems. As with a lot of distributions, PCLOS comes as an installable Live environment so you can try it before you commit to installing it on your system.
Installation of PCLOS was somewhat quick and there were only a few options to really choose from. Where users might get stumped is under the Security setting; it asks for a password and it is for the bootloader and not your administrator password which will be asked later on. Other then that, there were no qualms with installation process.
Once booting up for the first time after installation, we were greeted with a dialog display on how to update your system which is a good way to ensure that you’re protected from any potential issues, once that is done, we were greeted with a few icons on a simple desktop.
Synaptic Package Manager is the default program if you want to add, remove or update any packages that you have on installed on your system. For those who are concerned about wasting valuable disk space (more so with the advent of SSDs) there’s a program that will clean up unneeded files in BleachBit. Bleachbit allows you to choose which “sections” of files you want to clean off your system. For example, if you only use English on your system, BleachBit will remove all remnants of another installed language packs on PCLOS.
The PCLinuxOS Control Center gives you a lot of options to choose from whether it is configuring your hardware, to your Internet and network to configuring your hard drives, it is quite intuitive and you have options under one roof.
As always, LibreOffice is your office suite of choice, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird are installed by default or if you like, you can use Konqueror for your browsing experience. KMyMoney gets a shout out over here as it is a great financial tool for those who need to keep track of their money. We don’t hear much about financial tools being included that is why it is important that distros should atleast have it installed by default as per my personal opinion.
I’m quite pleased to see VLC as the default video player as sometimes there are distributions that offer two or three programs that can do the same thing. Pidgin is your default choice of instant messaging programs which allows you to connect to multiple accounts and multiple platforms like MSN, Yahoo, Facebook, heck even ICQ!
If you like listening to online music stations, Clementine is your application for that task. Although, I did have issues with getting SKY.fm to work due to a missing plugin, the error message didn’t specify which codec it was to get it to work. I was able to get Icecast to work without any issue.
There are quite a few distributions out there that are geared towards the novice user, and PCLOS does a great job at it. The website does have a community where one could ask for help and there is even a monthly magazine that they publish monthly with tips and tricks for Linux users. That right there is worth a few bonus points as they are trying to keep a community and help a new user. They have also published a
What I found strange in PCLOS is what the developers chose to have on the desktop by default. The applications they chose doesn’t make much sense in my opinion as there could have been better ones selected, say Firefox and Thunderbird, compared to LibreOffice Manager, Network Center, Firewall Setup and Localization manager.
Screenshots: Click Here